“You shouldn’t have to bury your children,” she said as we filed through with our simulated sorrow. When staring at your daughter’s coffin you really don’t care how everyone else feels.
“It’s malignant,” he said as we shuffled in the recovery room with our petrified encouragement. When cancer mounts a cerebral revolution you really don’t care what bothered you yesterday.
This week began with a funeral and ended with a brain tumor. And once again I was faced with the inevitable questions that accompany grief and confusion. And once again I was faced with my own depravity and how deep the gospel still has to drill in my sin-sick soul.
How quickly I let the question take root: “Why would God let this happen?” But where was that question yesterday when God kept the air conditioning running in my truck? Why didn’t I ask that question when instead of the tornado hitting my house it touched down in a field? Where was all my inquisitiveness when my wife taught my daughter to say “Bible”? Where was all my eagerness for answers when God encouraged me through a recent sermon? Where was my demand for explanations when my last breath wasn’t my last breath? My silence is fruit of a hidden, unmentioned, but very real sense of entitlement. God owes me good things, but must explain himself when bad things happen. In some sense, Job was married to all of us (Job 1.9-10).
You see, Christians get lulled into the secular mentality that death and disease are suprising events. Yet, according to the gospel, the suprising event is life! Why would God willfully and joyfully endure the bold-faced rebellion of so many every day? Why would he let me enjoy music, sunsets, petunias, medicine and police officers knowing I would not thank him for them? Why would God grant Christian parents who didn’t abort or abandon me? Why didn’t I get what I deserved at my conception? The real question is, “Why didn’t God let this happen before now?”
I wonder if I’ve ever worshiped before. There are many folks who have far less reason to worship who worship for reasons far too lofty for me to comprehend. Perhaps I’m just not ready to handle what that means. Only grace can help me.